100 Very Best Restaurants: #68 – The Red Hen


Buttermilk panna cotta with blueberries at The Red Hen. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About The Red Hen


1822 1st St NW
Washington, DC 20001

You really can’t go wrong if you go heavy on the carbs at this rustic Italianish-American restaurant in Bloomingdale. Start with crostini toasted over the wood-fired grill, then slathered with whipped ricotta and truffle honey. Handmade garganelli and cavatelli pasta are dressed for the season, whether with porcini crema in winter or sweet-corn fonduta come summer. One staple: rigatoni with fennel-sausage ragu. Our server sold the Red Hen classic by saying it’s the perfect dish if you’re having a bad day. It has never failed to make us smile. Moderate.
Also great: Smoked-trout rillettes; burrata; fried Brussels sprouts; mafalde with braised duck;caramelized scallops.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.